weeks in July, approximately 30 children from San Pedro participated in the
Coral Reef Ed-Ventures program led by a team of students from Smith College and
the staff of Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The children participated in many fun and
educational activities including exploring and identifying mangrove and seashore
habitats, conducting scientific experiments, recording their observations and
creative writings in their personal journals, and creating craft projects.
Aiding them with their writing skills was Associate Editor, Mr. Felix Ayuso Jr.
of the San Pedro Sun. Mr. Ayuso was asked to
give a presentation on the correct procedures of conducting an interview, in
preparation for their interaction with program speakers.
During the course of the program, two local community
leaders - Miguel Alamilla, Manager of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and Mr. Manuel
Heredia, President of Caribeña Cooperative - spoke to the children about the
local fishery and conserving the coral reef.
Students Adian Caliz, Cesar Cerpa Jr., Sherie Pou, Jason
Chee, JayEiley, Apolo Caliz and Jose Rodriguez created an original play entitled
The Barracuda and the Zooxanthellae that was
performed for parents on the final day of the session. Students Cesar Cerpa Jr.,
a student of San Pedro Roman Catholic School, also wrote an original poem
Alamilla presented prizes to the winners of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Poster
and T-shirt Design Contest during the final day's celebration. Winners of the
poster design contest were Luceli Guerrero, first prize, and Merlin Villatoro,
second prize. The prize for the T-shirt contest was awarded to Guillermo Paz,
with honorable mention to Warren Card for his slogan. Posters and T-shirts with
the winning design will be available for purchase at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve
office in the near future. Students who attended the program at least five days,
completed 10 pages in their journals and the assigned worksheets were awarded a
"Coral Reef Expert" identification card. These "experts" were treated to a glass
bottom boat trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve funded by Green Reef and Norman
The following are responses from some of the
children to the question "What did you most enjoy learning during the program or
from the speakers?"
Coral makes sand in San Pedro. The parrotfish eat coral and make sand. Mr.
Alamilla said there were corals bigger than him.
Caliz: I learned that they had lots of lobster 50 years
Noe: I enjoyed the games,
especially Turtle Hurdles, and using the net. You have to catch stuff, except
the sea grass.
Adian Caliz: I enjoyed
the stories and I learned a lot about writing.
Card: I learned about conservation, and how to conserve the
reef. I liked the field trips.
Anirdi Badillo: I liked to draw, and learned about the reef.
Leoli Jurado: It was fun, especially the art
and learning things about the ocean and the reef.
Reyes: I learned about fish-how they live, how they eat,
when they eat. Mr. Alamilla protects the fish and takes care of them.
Samira Acosta: Sometimes there is trouble with
the reef. We are supposed to take care of the reef because it is important to
Cesar Cerpa: I learned about the
reef - how fish are important to the world because if there are no fish, there
are no fishermen and, if the resources are low, no tourists would want to come
to San Pedro. If one tourist comes, they will go home and tell other people not
to come because we do not have the resources.
Pou: I learned about polyps. I learned that they are born,
float in the sea and then find a hard surface and start the colony. They have
zooxanthellae that give them their color. Turtles can lay over 100
Rosangela Guerrero: I learned
about the reef. It is beautiful and you should protect it, so that visitors will
Davelle Huber: I learned about
the coral reef and things I did not know about fish, different animals and